Why You Should Know Your Limitations

“Success is about handling the setbacks, problems and mess, over and over.”
― Sharon Pearson

A significant setback can limit your career success

A friend of mine landed in Australia for his postgraduate degree as an international student. He was a medical professional in his home country and was doing well.

He hoped to replicate the same success in his career in Australia as in his home country.

Upon landing, he started looking for work in his field. Because his role was in such high demand, he was lucky to land an interview.

He performed well at the interview. The panel was impressed with his in-depth knowledge and communications skills that they made him an offer immediately.


A Constraint Can Set You Back Significantly


Once he got the offer, he accepted it immediately. It was exactly what he had been waiting for.

He got asked to provide his residency or evidence of citizenship. My friend presented his student visa to the hiring manager.

Immediately, the hiring manager said they could not offer him the role due to his limited work rights. According to his student visa, he would on be able to work for twenty hours per week.

My friend’s heart melted. He felt like someone had stabbed him in his heart.

He had put in a significant amount of work to apply for the role and ace the interview, only to be denied the final offer.

Why All This Story?

In your pursuit of success, you need to identify and understand the constraints that can hold you back.

Ignoring the fact that there might be constraints in your journey can significantly limit your success. Not only that, you might have wasted time and energy chasing the wind. But you will have wasted resources too.

Of course, it might be a good learning curve for him, especially as he got to practice his interviewing skills; however, sometimes, you don’t have this many resources to play around with.



Know What They Are And Fix Them Up

When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

In your quest for career success, you need to identify and account for any challenge or roadblock that may come your way.

Some professionals solely focus on strengths. While this is good, the challenge is that one major constraint can outshine all your strengths, as we had in the case of my friend. And this can be unpleasant for you.

So rather than ignoring your constraints, I encourage you to consider them and manage them. You will have a better chance of success and save your energy and limited resources.

In my friend’s case, maybe he’d have saved himself the time wasted if he had better understood his visa type and work rights. He could have compared this information to the job requirements. Doing this might have saved him travel time, application time, and the ultimate disappointment.

But I bet it was an excellent interview practice for him.


Closing Thoughts

Life goes on and life is full of setbacks. You have to fight, that’s all

— Seve Ballesteros

Focus on your strengths is half-baked advice.

One major constraint that comes your way can outweigh all your strengths.

Consider your constraints as well as your strengths as you job hunt.

It will help you understand where the gaps are and how to manage them. It will also save you tons of time, energy and effort that could have been diverted to achieving other goals.


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